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Gérard Philipe

Gérard Philipe (December 4, 1922November 22, 1959) was a prominent French actor.

Born in Cannes, as a teenager Gérard Philipe took acting lessons before going to Paris to study at the Conservatory of Dramatic Art. At age 19, he made his stage debut at a theater in Nice and the following year his strong performance in the Albert Camus play, "Caligula" brought an invitation to work with the Théâtre national populaire (T.N.P.) in Paris.

Gérard Philipe made his film debut in 1943 in Les Petites du Quai aux Fleurs and after a few more minor film roles, he rocketed to fame as a result of his performance in Claude Autant-Lara's 1947 film Le diable au corps. Although adored by young women, beyond his good looks Gérard Philipe was a very talented actor who was highly regarded by his peers. From roles as diverse as Faust to Modigliani, he was sought out by France's preeminent directors for his versatility and professionalism.

Recognized worldwide for his talent, he was at the pinnacle of his career when, a few days short of his 37th birthday, Gérard Philipe died from cancer of the liver while in Paris working on a film project. He is buried in the village cemetery in Ramatuelle, Var near the Mediterranean Sea coast.

In 1951, Gérard Philipe married Nicole Fourcade (1917-1990) with whom he had two children. An actress and writer who adopted the pseudonym, Anne Philipe, she wrote about her husband in a two books, the first called " Souvenirs" published in 1960 and in 1963 a second biography titled "Le Temps d'un soupir" (No Longer Than a Sigh).

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of film, in 1995 the government of France issued a series of limited edition coins that included a 100 Franc coin bearing the image of Gérard Philipe. One of the most popular French actors of his time, his image has been enhanced by his young death at the peak of his popularity and has risen to near legendary status in France. In 1961, his portrait appeared on a French commemorative postage stamp. There is a film festival named in his honor plus a number of theaters, schools and colleges have been given his name in various parts of France. Also very popular in Germany, in Berlin a theater has also been named for him.

Partial filmography

fr:Gérard Philipe

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